Supporting people with disabilities through volunteerism – The project aimed to strengthen skills and work with youth leaders to initiate volunteerism programs to support people with disabilities (PWD) in Marneuli, (Kvemo Kartli), Borjomi (Samtskhe-Javakheti), and Nukriani.(Kakheti). The Helping Hand Volunteer Incubators in the three regions connected volunteers, parent’s groups, and municipalities for high-impact projects. 60 youth completed trainings on leadership, civic activism, volunteerism and working with PWD, then developed integration projects in their communities in the following months. The project increased youth civic engagement and PWD integration into Georgian society. McLain Association for Children (MAC), 2015 to 2016.
“Young Women’s Club” (YWC) storytelling for the Online Radio “My Voice”- The project aimed to empower internally displaced young women through a week-long training in radio storytelling and creating radio shows. One of the main objectives was to increase awareness among Georgian youth about women’s rights, gender equality, and women’s role in conflict resolution through running an online radio station. The project activities strengthened members of three Young Women’s Clubs established in 2010 in South Ossetia (Akhalgori), Abkhazia (Gali), and Tbilisi to advance gender equality and women’s human rights in these conflict-affected regions of Georgia. The project activities increased women’s rights and peace building awareness through 48 online radio stories produced by young women and girls in occupied regions and in Georgia, aired on “My Voice” Radio, FRIDA Young Feminist Fund, 2016 to 2017.
Volunteering for Social Transformation (Helping Hand’s “Volunteer Incubator” Program)- In support of its organizational mission, Helping Hand has been working to develop volunteerism among youth and young adults and promote volunteerism among the Georgian public and civil society.
We have developed a “Volunteer Incubator” – an online community of active volunteers and youth interested in volunteerism – to mobilize, recruit and engaged youth in civic processes and cultivate a culture of volunteerism. Our Volunteer Incubator provides capacity building training and programs on volunteerism, civil activities, and project development to increase awareness of issues that affect youth and their communities.
Upon receiving training, youth participants are then placed in volunteer positions with local NGOs (e.g., day centers, facilities for disabled people, senior citizens centers). Open Society Georgian Foundation, 2014
Developing Volunteerism for Civic Changes – project focused on developing the capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) to implement and lead youth volunteerism programs as well as conducting needs assessments and surveys to understand youth perspectives on volunteerism and promoting volunteerism among Georgian youth. This project created and published the first survey report in Georgia on the topic of youth volunteerism in Tbilisi. This survey – “How Youth Think about Volunteerism in Georgia” – is available to all interested parties (NGOs, Donor Organizations, Governmental Organizations, etc.) at our website www.helpinghand.ge Developed and implemented a trained for 60 regional NGOs on volunteer recruitment and management. During this training we organized and drafted a strategic plan for developing volunteerism where there was previously no organizational plan to guide volunteerism programs and activities. Trained 32 youth volunteers in interviewing skills. These youth volunteers then interviewed 1500 youth on volunteerism and presented their final results at local universities. Increase of youth involvement in volunteerism activities, with over 200 new individuals becoming active participants.Eurasia Partnership Georgia Foundation, 2013 to 2014
Volunteering as a Road to Economic Independence – This project aimed to support Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with the goals of strengthening their role in civil society and improving their quality of life through life skills training and improving their potential for employment in jobs that are accessible for their experience and skill levels. Helping Hand implemented a pre-employment program for 30 IDP’s, organizing the program and conducting the trainings. Selected participants came from a settlement in Tbilisi for displaced ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia and ranged in age from 18 to 26 years old. The participants learned how to prepare for the job market (CV writing, job interview training) and were subsequently placed in volunteer positions in Georgian railway stations, trade centers and NGOs. In these placements, the participants gained work experience in the real job market and developed relevant civil and social relationships.
In addition to our leadership on this project, Helping Hand was an active participant partner organization in “Act for Success,” an education and job fair conducted in December of 2010. This job fair was organized by the Ministry of Education of Abkhazia for ethnic Georgians displaced from that region. Along with other representative organizations from civil society, the business sector and the government, we provided information for almost 2,000 IDPs. Open Society Georgian Foundation 2010 to 2011.